For an equal, ethical and secular Labour

Government objection to humanist marriage is ‘nonsense on stilts’ (says Tory MP!)

May 29th, 2013 | Posted by Admin in News

When a Tory MP describes his own Government’s top lawyer’s opinion as ‘nonsense on stilts’, you know you are watching something new in the Commons.

For three hours during the Equal Marriage Bill debate, Labour led a cross-Party move to change the law to have legal marriage for humanist couples in England and Wales, as there has been in Scotland since 2005. The majority in the Commons on the day supported the amendment (as pointed out by Dr Julian Huppert MP, vice chair of the Humanist APG). It was deeply disappointing then, that due to the Tory-led Government’s last-minute legal objections, the amendment did not pass.

We are confident, however, that Labour Peers, supported by humanist colleagues across the Parties, will bring the issue back when the Bill reaches the Lords.

Shadow Equalities Minister Kate Green led a storming defence of the rights of non-religious people (gay and straight) to have the right to have a marriage ceremony which reflects their beliefs, and MPs from across the Parties and from humanist and religious backgrounds attended to give their strong support for the proposal.

We would like to thank all of those MPs who worked so hard, and we will continue to work with and support Labour peers to get this important change in the law passed.

The debate is definitely worth reading – you can read the Hansard of the debate or (better!) you canread our Twitter feed from May 21 and those tagged with #equalmarriage.

You can also read more from the British Humanist Association (BHA), to whom we are proudly affiliated.

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